Recipient: Sartine, Antoine Raymond Jean Gualbert Gabriel de
Passy, 15 June 1778. printed:
JA, Diary and Autobiography
. The Commissioners, in answer to Sartine's letter of 6 June, indicated their reasons
for refusing the drafts drawn on them by Bersolle, and, by implication and tone, their
displeasure at Sartine's interference in the Commission's affairs. The Commissioners
further noted that it was highly irregular for merchants or naval captains to make
drafts without prior approval and that the continuance of such practices would deprive
the Commissioners of control over expenses and might ultimately result in their bankruptcy.
The Commissioners declared their willingness to pay for goods supplied to John Paul
Jones from the royal magazines, agreed that restitution should be made for goods stolen
from the Lord Chatham
by Jones' crew, and reported their decision to send Lt. Simpson to America for trial.
In addition, the Commissioners requested that the sale of the Lord Chatham
and other prizes be expedited so as to provide funds for the Commissioners to defray
the cost of keeping ships in port and for the captors to purchase necessities. Finally,
the Commissioners acquiesced in the naming of Botsen, about whom they knew little,
for possible employment by the French as a pilot on the American coast.